War reparations hearing next Thursday
by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Guam will have another shot at making the case for war reparations. Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo announced today that the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs will hold a hearing on H.R. 44, the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act. Previous attempts at war reparations were included as a provision in defense spending bills, which were eventually blocked by the Senate.
Senator Frank Blas, Jr. says he's glad to hear the issue will be heard separately, telling KUAM News, "After numerous failed attempts to have it as a rider to the NDAA that she present that to the congressional body as a standalone bill, so it can stand on its merits. I believe it has the chance to move on its merits but the key there is bringing survivors in to tell their stories as only they can tell it."
According to Bordallo, the Natural Resources Committee has favorably reported war claims legislation in several previous congresses, including the 109th, 110th and 111th. The bill has passed the House of Representatives on five separate occasions, but has stalled in the Senate. In order to testify, one must be invited.
The hearing is scheduled for July 14. Although Governor Eddie Calvo is in the nation's capitol there's no word on whether he's been invited or whether anyone from Guam has been or will be invited just yet.